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Ubuntu cleverness Part 3. Firefox 1.5 February 20, 2006

Posted by oktyabr in debian, hacking, linux, ubuntu.
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Firefox is a superb browser as more and more of the world is finding out everyday! But Ubuntu Breezy only includes 1.07 in it’s repositories, which proves to be sadly outdated especially if you want to use some of the bleeding edge extensions that are now available for it! So here is the quick and dirty way to install the latest (1.5 stable at the time of this post) Firefox on your Breezy system (taken in part from the ubuntu wiki. Please refer to that link if you need more detailed help!):

1) First download the latest firefox installer: http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/

2) Open a terminal and extract it to your /opt directory:

# extract tar into /opt (you should make sure /opt already exists)

sudo tar -C /opt -x -z -v -f firefox-1.5.tar.gz

# remove the package if you no longer require it

rm firefox-1.5.tar.gz

3) You will need libstdc++5 installed for this to work:

sudo apt-get install libstdc++5

4) Remove the old “firefox” link, if it exists, and replace it with a new one:

sudo rm /usr/bin/firefox sudo

ln -s /opt/firefox/firefox /usr/bin/firefox

Fireup firefox and give it a whirl! You *might* get some popup errors regarding “Chrome registry” but these usually are in regards to older versions of extensions you might have had installed for version 1.07. Once you have 1.5 up and running you can go to Tools -> Extensions and click the Find Updates button near the bottom. Any that can’t be updated will have to be removed using that same interface.

NOW, for some cool stuff you can do with the new version! Update the ‘fox! For one, you will notice under the Help menu that there is a new entry called “Check for updates”. This will actually update FIREFOX itself, NOT extensions! But it is a lot easier than following the above directions all over again, don’t you think?

Get some new search engines! See that new little entry field with the google emblem next to it? That is a built in search bar. Type anything into it and press enter (or click the “Go” button) and that’s what you get… search results straight from Google.com… but you might also notice that little black arrow next to the Google logo! Click it and you will get several search engines to choose from… But that’s not all!!! The bottom entry should read “Add Engines”… click this and you will get a new webpage full of nifty search engine extensions including dictionaries, movie databases, song lyrics, stocks and even a complete database of recipes from the Food Network (try “Thai Chicken” in this one to find some of my favorite food 😀 ) Just click each respective link and they will install into your search box automagically.

Get more extensions! Extensions are, well, what the word implies… ways of making firefox… extending firefox … beyond just another webbrowser. If you click the Tools -> Extensions in the menus and then the “Get More Extensions” link at the bottom you will get a new page with literally HUNDREDS of nifty ways to make your firefox into a super-browser! Here are a few of my favorites:

AddBlock As the name implies… a customizable add stopper. Priceless!

Sage RSS news reader One of several available extensions with this capacity, Sage is a bit “lighter” than most doing the bare essentials in a neat sidebar of your browser.

Forecastfox Customizable weather reports in your status bar. Even has a popup radar map!

QuickChat Not much in use yet but once word gets around this one will take off like wild fire! Let me give you a short description… browse ANY webpage, anywhere, anytime. Click “quickchat” and instantly join an IRC channel created *specifically* for that webpage and chat with others, in realtime, who are looking at the same page you are. How cool is that?!?!

FireFTP FireFTP is a free, secure, cross-platform FTP client for Mozilla Firefox which provides easy and intuitive access to FTP servers. No reason to use anything else! Many more where those came from! Take a look and if you find one I’m missing you think I would like, leave a comment and let me know about it!

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